QUICK! 41 Degrees?

alamo5000April 8, 2010

Is 41 degrees too cold for tomato plants?

That is the forecast for tonight.

I set mine out in buckets already, but if its going to be too cold I might be able to move them all into the garage.

I don't think it will kill the plants, but I want other opinions.

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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

I'd move them in just to be on the safe side. As pointed out in the other post on cold temps down the page a bit, air temps are recorded/reported at 5 feet height - it can be much colder below that level or in low lying pockets, etc.

JMO

Dave

    Bookmark   April 8, 2010 at 8:32PM
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cyrus_gardner(8)

Too little too late but can be re-used.

First, 41F is not going to do any harm to any garden vegetables, tomatoes included.

Second, the 41F LOW is normally just for a short time and will not hang in there.
If you check hourly forecast you will see what I mean.

    Bookmark   April 8, 2010 at 11:02PM
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catman529(6b)

I personally wouldn't put mine out in 41 even though it wouldn't kill them. I would mainly be afraid of stunting the growth - although those effects might just be temporary.

Also what Dave said about the cold pockets of air is worth consideration.

    Bookmark   April 8, 2010 at 11:15PM
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helenh(z6 SW MO)

I live in a valley. If the weatherman says high thirties, I can get frost here. I will probably get a frost tonight but my tomatoes are safe in the basement. All my hostas and other stuff that has shot out will probably get burned.

    Bookmark   April 9, 2010 at 12:52AM
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alamo5000

I dodged a bullet last night. The weather man said it will be 'clear and 41 degrees'...

But from what I could tell it was going to get a lot colder. Any time its clear like that... I felt the temp last night at 9pm and man I was thinking 'this weather man is full of it'...

Well, I live out in the country about 15 miles from the city where they have the nearest weather station where all the online reports for my area are taken.

I got up this morning and checked and the 'current temp' was 37 degrees at 6:15 this morning and that was 15 miles away.

Here it could be several degrees colder.

What I did is put the plants under a big barn. Its open air but its sheilded on 3 sides from wind and everything.

I turned the lights on and left them on all night.

Just walking out from the open to up under that barn it might be at least 5 or 6 degrees warmer...if not more...

Anyway I check this morning and no problems to report yet.

The plants just have to live under the barn for a day until I come back home from work.

FYI our last frost date was Easter.

    Bookmark   April 9, 2010 at 7:30AM
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cyrus_gardner(8)

My weatherman forecasts low of 39F for tonight. And I trust him.lol
I have lots of tomatoes, peppers, eggplants, beans.. already planted.
The way I look at it, as I said in my prior post: That low will last for about an hour or so. I let my plants toughen up a bit and they will appreciate 75F tomorrow, more.
I woul only worry about frost from now on.

    Bookmark   April 9, 2010 at 9:18PM
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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

Glad to hear it all worked out for you alamo5000. I'm not nearly as brave as Cyrus. Lost way too many plants over the years to forecasted temps in the mid to high 30's. Even plants that don't freeze can easily stunt. Just not worth the risk to me.

Dave

    Bookmark   April 9, 2010 at 10:00PM
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alamo5000

I did see some slight damage to the plants though. Fortunately it seems as though it was only some leaves. They were shriveled up with that frozen tomato look...

It was just a few leaves on maybe 5 plants out of 60....

Overall I came out relatively unscathed (I hope)...

I just had to tote all them buckets is all... over once and then back...

    Bookmark   April 9, 2010 at 11:31PM
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briergardener_gw

I surround my tomato containers with jars with water and cover with row cover. Helps.

    Bookmark   April 11, 2010 at 10:58AM
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ferretbee(5b)

I still have everything in cups on the porch, but the temp dropped so rapidly Friday evening here that some of my plants had already sustained damage by 10pm. The leaves were so badly wilted on most of my Eggplants that I thought they were goners, but I gave them a drink and put them in a warm spot and they looked close to 100% by morning. Some of the younger tomato seedlings had leaf damage but all should recover. I'd planned to bring everything inside, but that evening temperature drop caught me off guard.

    Bookmark   April 11, 2010 at 11:30AM
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sfallen2002(z5 IA)

42 plants.
3 days outside.
36 degrees last night.
44 degrees by 8:00 AM.
Plants are going just great, Looking forward to planting out May 7 or so.

    Bookmark   April 20, 2010 at 9:06PM
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naturalstuff(Z6 / CT)

LOL. Little do people know that growth is stunted the longer they are exposed to cold.

Even one or 2 days of feeling 40 degrees will slow the groth process a few days. 1 week of 40 degrees and you'll notice they are slow to grow until July.

Keep them warm!

    Bookmark   April 21, 2010 at 8:01AM
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bigdaddyj(Zone7)

I'm with Dave. NEVER trust a weatherman. Cold Pockets do exist. Stunting is real. Putting out plants too early serves no useful purpose. They just sit there until soil temps warm anyway...

    Bookmark   April 21, 2010 at 9:04AM
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cyrus_gardner(8)

My maters, peppers, eggplants, etc were not harmed by forecaste lows of 39F- 41F.
In fcat some of them already have buds and flowers.

As I mentioned before, if the low of 39F was to stick around for , say 5 hours, it could've shunned my tomatoes and other stuff.
But That low was for about one hour.

Well, well. For us down here the cold and frost seems to be a history now.
Soon we will start complaining about high heat and humidity.

    Bookmark   April 21, 2010 at 8:18PM
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eukofios

I keep reading that we should not plant tomatoes outside until the soil temperature is above 50 degrees, and peppers/eggplants until the soil temperature is above 55 degrees. I got thermometer and left it half-buried overnight, it was 55 in my raised planter even though the night temp is sometimes in the 40s. Last night it was 38 degrees. I forgot to check the soil temp in the regular tomato bed. I planted tomatoes outside yesterday but they are protected in WOWs, and the few peppers in the raised containers are protected by covers at night.

Where I grew up, they said that if the ground is warm enough to sit against the soil with your bare bottom for 10 minutes, then it's warm enough to plant tomatoes. I did not try that because my neighbors already think Im strange.

    Bookmark   April 23, 2010 at 12:52PM
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dawncols(5)

>

Good call eukofios.

    Bookmark   April 24, 2010 at 12:45PM
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